Some comments on the projectibility of anthropological hypotheses: Samoa briefly revisited

Erkenntnis 30 (3):279 - 299 (1989)
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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the applicability of the theory of projection for Anthropological hypotheses. The claim is made that Goodman's classic statement of the problem does not apply in its entirety to actual Anthropological hypotheses. The recent Freeman-Mead debate is employed as a framework for the discussion, illustrating that the issue of projectibility, while central for the social sciences, is best used as a backdrop to illustrate several important methodological problems. For Anthropology, and other related social sciences, the central methodological problem, which is directly related to the projectibility one, is the development and justification of evidence-rules that can be used for a theory of confirmation. A preliminary attempt is then made to articulate the nature of these rules within the general Hempelian framework of qualitative confirmation.

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